Title page for ETD etd-11032008-220541

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Williams, Alicia Marie
Author's Email Address alwilli3@vt.edu
URN etd-11032008-220541
Title The Hydrodynamics of Ferrofluid Aggregates
Degree PhD
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Vlachos, Pavlos P. Committee Chair
Battaglia, Francine Committee Member
Paul, Mark R. Committee Member
Puri, Ishwar K. Committee Member
Stremler, Mark A. Committee Member
  • Ferrohydrodynamics
  • Ferrofluid
  • DPIV
  • Kelvin-Helmholtz
  • Magnetic Drug Targeting
Date of Defense 2008-08-01
Availability unrestricted
Ferrofluids are comprised of subdomain particles of magnetite or iron oxide material that can become magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. These unique liquids are being incorporated into many new applications due to the ability to control them at a distance using magnetic fields. However, although our understanding of the dynamics of ferrofluids has evolved, many aspects of ferrohydrodynamics remain largely unexplored, especially experimentally.

This study is the first to characterize the stability and internal dynamics of accumulating or dispersing ferrofluid aggregates spanning the stable, low Reynolds number behavior to unstable, higher Reynolds numbers. The dynamics of ferrofluid aggregates are governed by the interaction between the bulk flow shear stresses acting to wash away the aggregate and magnetic body forces acting to retain them at the magnet location. This interaction results in different aggregate dynamics, including the stretching and coagulation of the aggregate to Kelvin-Helmholtz shedding from the aggregate interface as identified by focused shadowgraphs.

Using TRDPIV, the first time-resolved flow field measurements conducted in ferrofluids reveal the presence of a three-stage process by which the ferrofluid interacts with a pulsatile bulk flow. An expanded parametric study of the effect of Reynolds number, magnetic field strength, and flow unsteadiness reveals that the increased field results can result in the lifting and wash away of the aggregate by means of vortex strengthening. In pulsatile flow, different forms of the three-stage interaction occur based on magnetic field, flow rate, and Reynolds number.

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